ISIS Targets City that Inspired Washington, D.C. for Destruction

Palmyra (wikipedia)

Palmyra (wikipedia)

Frontpage, May 22, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield:

The great columns and pediments of Washington, D.C. that give it a Roman and Greek air have their origins in a lost city in the Syrian desert. After Robert Wood and James Dawkins visited the ruins of Palmyra in the eighteenth century, the illustrations of the bare columns and broken arches helped inspire neoclassical architecture. Now the city that helped inspire Washington is occupied by ISIS.

It is a historical irony that the classical architecture of our national capital where Islamic terrorists are appeased owes a good deal to a forgotten Christian outpost that surrendered to the armies of Islam.

Some would even say that history is repeating itself.

Palmyra fell when it was besieged by the savage horde of Khalid ibn al-Walid; the Sword of Allah. The Sword of Allah was known for numerous atrocities. One particularly gruesome account describes how he murdered the Arab poet and chieftain Malik ibn Nuweira for returning taxes demanded by Mohammed to his people, telling them, “Your wealth is now your own.” The Islamic IRS was even nastier than ours.

The Sword of Allah cut off Malik’s head and used it to cook dinner before raping his wife. Through such atrocities, that helped inspire the modern crimes of ISIS, the Sword of Allah was able to keep Mohammed’s conquests together after his death. When he came to Palmyra, the Sword swore by Allah that he would conquer it even if it were in heaven and capture its sons and daughters.

Hoping to save their lives, the people of Palmyra surrendered and became dhimmis. Arabic replaced Aramaic, Islam replaced Christianity and the city once founded by King Solomon mostly vanished from history. Those inhabitants who survived the terrible centuries of Islamic occupation, lost their identity, their religion and any knowledge that they were of a nobler kind than their brutal conquerors.

Palmyra falls again with its capture by ISIS. This fall may be its final one. If ISIS has its way, the ruins of the city that helped inspire the rebirth of classical architecture in England and America will be destroyed.

Like the old armies of Islam that destroyed the Library of Alexandria because its books were a threat to the totalitarian writ of the Koran, ISIS destroys the remains of the civilizations that predated Islam. It is not alone in seeking to destroy the histories of more civilized times so that none of the peoples under its rule can ever seek to better themselves by reaching for something higher and better than the Koran.

America found inspiration in ancient civilizations to reach higher. ISIS wants a world where no one can ever know that there were better men than Mohammed and the Sword of Allah, so that its followers will aspire to be nothing better than murderers and rapists, destroying the past to kill the future.

While the archeological mass destruction practiced by ISIS and the Taliban is well known, “moderate” Muslim kingdoms like Saudi Arabia engage in the same practice. Wahhabism began with the destruction of relics. While Europeans were marveling over Palmyra, the House of Saud was massacring thousands and destroying historical artifacts across Iraq and Syria in a manner indistinguishable from ISIS.

The Islamic State’s Caliph has vowed that “After Ramadi, will come Baghdad and Karbala.” ISIS is retracing the path of the House of Saud, which had declared, “We took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah… and we do not apologize for that and say: ‘And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.’”

That horrid event took place in the same year that Washington D.C. was incorporated as a city and the Library of Congress was founded. There could hardly be a better contrast between Islam and America.

That is what we are up against, not only in the fight against ISIS, but in the Clash of Civilizations.

Islamists in Libya and Timbuktu, after Obama’s illegal regime change destabilized the region, were left free to destroy mausoleums and shrines. When UNESCO protested, the Jihadists of Ansar Dine, the Defenders of Islam, responded by mocking the helpless international organization, “We are all Muslims. UNESCO is what? [We are acting] in the name of Allah.”

Now UNESCO is appealing to protect Palmyra from the modern Swords of Allah, but it’s equally helpless to do so. The Swords of Allah and Defenders of Islam are savages who thrive on terror. They destroy everything that reminds them of their own cultural inferiority. They cannot be reasoned with.

UNESCO chief Irina Bokova calls the potential destruction of Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site, “an enormous loss to humanity.” But we cannot save the ruins of Palmyra until we recognize that the forces threatening it today are the same as those that left it a forgotten ruin in the desert.

The enormous loss to humanity started when the warlords of Islam began the destruction of thousands of years of civilization. ISIS is only finishing what the armies of Mohammed began.

When it burns manuscripts in the Mosul Library, ISIS is following up Caliph Omar’s destruction of the Library of Alexandria. When the Jihad conquered Persia and found “innumerable quantity of books and scientific treatises”, Omar commanded, “Throw them into the water.”

Until we recognize that ISIS is the extension of the Islamic imperative of cultural mass destruction, we will continue losing cultural heritage sites, not only in the Middle East, but in Europe as well, where churches are being turned into mosques, Georg Engelhard Schröder’s Juno is covered up in the Swedish Legislature to avoid offending Muslims and a Mozart opera is shut down in Berlin.

Palmyra is likely to meet the same fate as Aleppo and Nimrud. As have Hatra and Khorsabad.

The ruins of Nimrud were bulldozed and blown up. In Mosul, ISIS savages rampaged through the museum smashing artifacts. Dabiq, the ISIS magazine, explained that, “The kuffar (non-Muslims) had unearthed these statues and ruins in recent generations and attempted to portray them as part of a cultural heritage and identity that the Muslims of Iraq should embrace and be proud of.”

ISIS, like the armies of Islam dating back to Mohammed, has as its core mission the destruction of the pre-Islamic cultures that might inspire people living under Islam to better themselves, to look beyond the black veil of Islam to the past and the future. There is nothing savages hate more than civilization.

What is at stake in the Clash of Civilizations is the destruction of civilization. The ruins of Palmyra inspired our civilization. Their threatened destruction should inspire us to protect our own civilization from the Swords of Allah before all that remains of our cities is the ruins of a lost greatness.

***

Also see:

Suleimani’s Gambit: Bid to Deal Crushing Blow to ISIS in Bayji

A general view of Baiji oil refinery in Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad, January 21, 2009. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani http://www.businessinsider.my/battle-for-one-of-iraqs-most-important-oil-refineries-2015-5/#d3WKrsDe4jhCYHvR.99

A general view of Baiji oil refinery in Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad, January 21, 2009. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
http://www.businessinsider.my/battle-for-one-of-iraqs-most-important-oil-refineries-2015-5/#d3WKrsDe4jhCYHvR.99

May 21, 2015 / /

GEN Suleimani: Source: talkhandak.com

GEN Suleimani:
Source: talkhandak.com

Despite the fact that Ramadi – and all of Anbar – has been under Islamic State (IS) control since last year, the American public woke up to shock at seeing the remaining Iraqi Army forces flee the area. A 3,000-man Popular Mobilization Committee (PMC) force has been deployed to Habbaniyah for a counter-attack. As we stated in our piece “JV Team Solidifies Hold on Anbar With Ramadi Purging,” the IA is stretched thin and not capable of maintaining a high OP-Tempo in Anbar or Northern Iraq. Irgc-Qods Force commanding GEN Suleimani deployed the PMC force to help “stop the bleeding” in Anbar while he directs the main effort to the Saladin Province city of Bayji – which is a key logistical support hub for IS efforts in the country as it links the flow of supplies and reinforcements from Syria and Mosul to the front-lines further South. Although we had originally assessed that the PMC force sent to Anbar would be part of an effort to retake Ramadi, it now appears that they’re going to be conducting limited operations and bolstering the defenses in the remaining installations. Regarding the Bayji offensive, it may begin as early as next week.

“JV Team” Solidifies Hold on Anbar With Ramadi Purging
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6542

We can’t say that we blame Suleimani for wanting to “go big” since its become painfully obvious that cowardice runs deep among his Arab counterparts in the Iraqi Army (IA). Over 400 prisoners were released from the Ramadi jail when IS overran the last IA installation. Many of the prisoners were IS fighters who had been detained over the course of the war as far back as a year ago. Now that they’re out, IS will be able to field all those tanks and assault vehicles they acquired after the IA from all the surrounding areas fled in panic. IS added insult to injury by quickly putting out propaganda though their IO channels “thanking President Obama” for providing all the weapons and vehicles that they now possess. This was done to show the Obama administration that Team Baghdadi isn’t scared of his “strategy” (we use the term very loosely here) and that Iran isn’t going to end the war anytime soon.

ISIS frees hundreds of extremists from Ramadi prison
http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/19052015

ramadi jail

IS releasing their fellow terrorists from the Ramadi jail
Source: Rudaw

thanks obama

IS: “Thanks Obama!”
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 2.10.04 PM

They have more than enough personnel to operate these now after emptying out the jail
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Suleimani isn’t playing. Our sources within the Kurdish Peshmerga have informed us that an Iranian Artillery Battalion (as in the Iranian military, possibly a Basij Resistance Force unit) was moved within a few kilometers of Bayji and the Badr Organization sent additional personnel to bolster the PMC contingent located at COP Speicher. This should be a good indicator that he views Bayji as the top priority. The logic is simple – take over Bayji and cut off the flow of supplies to the other IS units and you have a much easier time making the push to retake Mosul. However, Bayji is only one of many locations that the combined IA/Qods Force/PMC/Peshmerga forces will need to seize – and HOLD. Other areas that need to be cleared out and controlled is the Zaab Triangle (with an emphasis on Hawijah), the Hamrin Mountains and Tikrit – which still remains unsecured despite IA claims to the contrary. The planned offensive to retake Mosul will fail unless all of these areas are controlled. If this doesn’t happen, then IS will be able to disrupt the ISF supply lines and effectively blunt the attack before they even reach the capital of Baghdadi’s “Caliphate.”

Thus far all attempts to reinforce the ISF garrison isolated at the far corner of the Bayji Oil Refinery (BOR) complex have failed with the refinery experiencing heavy damage to its infrastructure. The Obama administration is trying to maintain the narrative that the IA still “controls” the BOR, but the ugly truth of the matter is that IS fighters control all but a tiny corner that the IA have been pushed into. The BOR itself hasn’t been operational since last year, which has had a significant impact against the Iraqi economy since its the largest refinery in the country capable of producing over 300,000 barrels per day. The refinery in Basra comes in at a distant second with an output of only 160,000 barrels per day. IS hasn’t been impacted by the BOR being rendered inactive since they’ve been maintaining micro-refineries all throughout Ninevah Province going into Northeastern Syria. Laying siege to the BOR and damaging the infrastructure is for one purpose: to deny the Government of Iraq (GOI) revenue that would otherwise go towards keeping their military afloat.

U.S. Military Worries Key Iraqi Refinery Could Fall to Islamic State
http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-military-worries-key-iraqi-refinery-could-fall-to-islamic-state-1430930353

You can see some of the festivities currently underway inside the BOR right here:

The IRGC-Qods Force and their proxies have had a few victories as of late, as demonstrated by Asaib al-Haq (AAH) having killed New Baath Party (NBP) leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri during an operation in the Hamrin Mountains. Indeed al-Duri’s death was a great victory, but he was one of many members of the former Saddam regime who fight under the IS umbrella. Suleimani likely views Bayji as an opportunity to improve morale and deal IS a large enough blow to where they’re forced to redirect resources from Anbar to the North in defense of Mosul. If successful, it would also give Suleimani additional leverage over Prime Minister Abadi on influencing how the National Guard will be formed. A lot is riding on this Hail Mary, but will the Qods Force succeed? Had they decided on this course of action before opening up the new front in Yemen it would’ve been possible. That said, the escalating fight on the Arabian Peninsula is sucking up a great deal of resources that would otherwise have been sent to Iraq. We assess that the Northern Iraq offensive to retake Bayji will not result in any meaningful gains. Back in Anbar, IS will likely seize on Suleimani’s focus Northward and increase their OP-Tempo to eliminate the rest of the ISF presence in the Province. Khan al-Baghdadi and Haditha are likely their “50 meter targets” with Habbaniyah to follow. What about al-Asad Airbase? Oh, they’re going to save it for last. Despite what the academics in the Department of State and staff eunuchs at the Pentagon claim, we’re certainly not winning this fight. They better change their current IS and Iran strategies because their both colossal failures…

Confirmed: Izzat al-Douri, former Saddam Hussein deputy, killed by Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq forces
http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/confirmed-izzat-al-douri-former-saddam-hussein-deputy-killed-by-asaib-ahl-al-haq-forces/

al-duri

Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri: His death marks the end of an era
Source: Iraqi News

Other Related Links:

GOI Begins Prepping For OPs in Bayji, Hawijah and Mosul While Tikrit Remains Unsecured
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6252

IA Claims to Have “Liberated” Tikrit – Reality Says Different
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6044

Today’s Middle East: The Burning Fuse of the 21 Century’s “Great Game”
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6193

ISIS Digs-in For Battle of Tikrit as Sunni Populace is Targeted by Iran’s Proxies
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5559

Incoherent Strategy Delays Mosul Offensive as Administration Touts Hashtag Victory
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5217

ISIS Shaping Operations Against IA Blunts Mosul OP Before it Starts
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5171

IA Struggling to Avoid Collapse on Multiple Fronts – Mosul OP in Danger of Failing
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5008

The Tikrit Front: Not So “Rosy” as Claimed by Obama Administration
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5440

As ISIS Takes Another City, Obama Prattles On About Global Warming

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Breitbart, by John Nolte, May 21, 2015:

President Obama has become the star of his own malevolent Marx Brothers movie. As chaos causes by our president’s own depraved indifference breaks out across the globe, like a psychotic Groucho Marx, the big joke is that he’s off somewhere addressing the military about Global Warming.

How irreverent!

How cutting edge!

How so very Nero.

In January of 2009, the Iraq War was a won war. Bad intelligence and mistakes aside, the surge had won the war. An embattled George W. Bush could leave the Oval Office secure in that fact. All that was necessary for his successor, President Obama, to keep the war won, was what was necessary to keep World War II won: a small stabilizing force of American troops.

Stabilizing American forces are the win-win of all win-wins.  The peace is kept, our positive influence in the region remains, and the war stays won.

The problem of course is that Democrats love to lose won wars. They are quite good at it, too.

Practice after all makes perfect.

Pop culture and our education system covers this fact up, but America won the war in Vietnam. Nixon and Kissinger won that war. We didn’t defeat the bad guys but we did beat them to a draw that stopped their incursion into South Vietnam. The war was over. Our allies were safe.  Best of all, victory didn’t even require American troops — just a steady supply of American weapons.

Then Democrats won control of Congress:

In November of 1974, three months after Nixon resigned in disgrace, Democrats won a landslide in the mid-term elections. The new Democrat majority in Congress de-funded our promised military aid to South Vietnam, and the Viet Cong made their move. Without American aid, the South Vietnamese were doomed.

Then-President Gerald Ford literally begged Congress to restore funding. By this time things had deteriorated to a point where the South would have also required American airstrikes to hold on.

Democrats adamantly refused funding, making the airstrikes futile.

Within a year, South Vietnam surrendered to the communist North.

Oh, and that “fascist American bull sh*t” Domino Theory your professors always mock? Ask Cambodia and Laos how funny that is. Both countries fell immediately after Vietnam, and millions of innocents needlessly died, all so Democrats could prove they were right all along about opposing the war … a war started by John Kennedy and almost lost by Lyndon Johnson — two Democrats.

Obama can crybaby and whine all he wants about the Iraqis poisoning a status of forces agreement. No one with half a brain or their tongue not firmly connected to his boots (see: Media, Mainstream) believes that. Obama wanted out of Iraq at any cost, wanted that talking point for his 2012 re-election, and damn sure knew the consequences.

Obama intentionally lost a won war, and that perverse act perversely allows the media and Democrats to claim they were right all along about Iraq being a “mistake.”

The problem for Obama and the media and Democrats and America is that Iraq is not Vietnam. We can’t just pick up all our marbles and go home. Democrats and the media didn’t care if their partisan depravity cost the lives of a few million brown people in Southeast Asia. They simply propagandized that horror show into America’s fault, not their own.

Communism was about containment.

Terrorism is not.

ISIS is not.

The vacuum created by Obama’s Iraqi idiocy wasn’t filled by nationalist butchers. It was filled by international butchers, savvy savages and barbarians eager to create a nation-state from which to destroy the rest of the world from; most especially America.

Sunday ISIS took the Iraqi city Ramadi, effectively liquidating Americans gains gained at an incomprehensible price paid by American troops and our Iraqi allies.

The terrorist regime Obama stupidly referred to as jayvee is on the march, and now holds territory a mere 70 miles from the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.

None of this had to happen. All Obama had to do was keep a won war won, but his re-election talking point and desire to be right about the war being a debacle meant he had to turn it into a debacle, and then count on the mainstream media to memory-hole that rather vital fact.

Wednesday, ISIS took the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

While ISIS took Palmyra, like a madman,  our commander-in-chief warned his troops, and by extension America and the world, about the imminent dangers of a unicorn.

Also see:

U.S. aided arms flow from Benghazi to Syria

A Syrian Kurdish fighter in Kobani, Syria, in January Associated Press

A Syrian Kurdish fighter in Kobani, Syria, in January Associated Press

WorldMag.com, By J.C. DERRICK, May 18, 2015:

WASHINGTON—Documents released today confirm the Obama administration knew weapons were flowing out of Benghazi, Libya, to Syrian rebels in 2012 even though the rebels had well-publicized ties to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Previous reports, including one by WORLD in 2013, have linked U.S. involvement in Libya to arms flowing into Syria, but the new documents provide the first verification that contradicts administration officials and congressional Democrats who maintained there was no evidence to support it. The documents provide further confirmation that the CIA and the State Department—under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—received immediate intelligence that the attack was committed by al-Qaeda- and Muslim Brotherhood-linked brigades, even as Clinton and other officials claimed it was the result of rioting against a Muslim-bashing video.

“Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya, to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria,” says an October 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document released with heavy redactions. It notes the activity took place weeks before terrorists attacked the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, killing four Americans in September: “The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were [500] sniper rifles, [100] RPGs, and [400] 125 mm and 155 mm howitzers missiles.”

Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C., watchdog group, obtained the cache of more than 100 documents after filing a lawsuit in federal court. The judge who ordered the release, Ketanji Brown Jackson, is a 2013 appointee of President Barack Obama.

“These documents are jaw-dropping,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said. “No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them.”

Administration officials—including the CIA’s former acting director in sworn congressional testimony last year—have argued that initial intelligence showed no evidence of a pre-planned attack at Benghazi. But new documents undercut that assertion. A DIA memo dated September 12, 2012, says the attack was planned at least 10 days in advance to “kill as many Americans as possible” in revenge for a U.S. air strike that killed a militant leader in Pakistan and to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

That document, also heavily redacted, was circulated to top administration officials, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, four days before U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice went on several national television shows claiming the attack was the result of a spontaneous protest.

Clare Lopez, a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi—a group of former intelligence officers, military personnel, and national security experts—told me it comes as no surprise that Benghazi was a retaliatory attack since al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a video had called on the “sons of Libya” to avenge his deputy’s death. Lopez said the Judicial Watch release is “very significant,” because it “begins to peel back a little more of the layers of the onion about what was going on in Benghazi, and why that mission [facility] was there.”

Lopez, a former CIA officer who is now a vice president at the Center for Security Policy, said the commission has confirmed it was not the CIA but the State Department that managed the gun-running operation. According to Lopez, the department put up between $125,000 to $175,000 for each surface-to-air missile it funneled out of Libya to the Syrian battlefield.

The new revelations raise the stakes in the ongoing Benghazi investigation, which threatens to extend deep into the 2016 presidential campaign season. Republican members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, created a year ago following another Judicial Watch release, say the administration is stalling in its production of documents. Democrats have accused Republicans of moving at a “glacial pace” to unnecessarily drag out the probe.

Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 race, has agreed to testify before the panel, but the Republicans who control the committee say they won’t call her until they receive all relevant documents.

Monday’s disclosure includes startling detail showing that U.S. intelligence agencies know about militant activities down to the measurements of a room where al-Qaeda collects documents in Libya. The militants responsible for the Benghazi attacks controlled large caches of weapons “disguised by feeding troughs for livestock” and trained “almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”

A DIA report from August 2012 detailed the “dire consequences” of unfolding events in the Middle East, and predicted the rise of ISIS and a possible caliphate 17 months before Obama called the group a “JV team.
“This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters,” the document reads. “ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”

J.C. is a reporter in WORLD’s Washington Bureau. He spent 10 years covering sports, higher education, and politics for the Longview News-Journal and other newspapers in Texas before joining WORLD in 2012. Follow J.C. on Twitter @jcderrick1.

Also see:

US Army’s Delta Force Kills ISIS Oil Financier in Syria Raid


May 16, 2015 / ISIS Study Group

Abu Sayyaf was a midlevel financier that oversaw oil revenues for the Islamic State in Deir al-Zour. The raid was said to be authorized by President Obama after being briefed on the intelligence that had been collected. The US military and intelligence community had been working for weeks to build a pattern of life on Abu Sayyaf using human sources, electronic surveillance and aerial reconnaissance of the particular areas of interest.

site of raidThe raid to capture or kill Abu Sayyaf was carried out by approximately 24 members of the US Army’s Delta Force in the vicinity of Amr within Deir al-Zour Province in eastern Syria. The infiltration for the raid was conducted using Blackhawk helicopters and V-22 Ospreys. The raid is the first successful raid against an Islamic State target since the military campaign against the terrorist army began after the beheading of James Foley. A previous raid in the summer of last year attempted to free James Foley and other hostages, but was not successful due to the hostages having been moved or the intelligence being incorrect.

Abu Sayyaf was killed during the raid after he attempted to engage members of Delta Force as they approached the room he had tried to hide in with his wife. As the operators entered the room Abu Sayyaf was said to have opened fire on them resulting in his death from return fire. None of the Delta Force members were injured in the raid and up to a dozen Islamic State fighters were said to have been killed in the raid.

Abu Sayyaf’s wife Umm Sayyaf is reportedly involved in the human trafficking operations of the Islamic State in the area. She was captured and the operators also rescued an 18 year old Yazidi girl. The Islamic State has been capturing and selling female captives throughout Syria and Iraq where they have been able to seize terrain. The sexual slavery of female captives has been well established from the interviews with those that have escaped the Islamic State.

There were no civilian casualties during the raid as the highly trained operators were able to distinguish between combatants and noncombatants on the objective. The raid demonstrates the United States has the capability to reach out and strike the Islamic State at will if it so chooses with minimal dangers to its forces. The successful collection on a midlevel target also shows the US is gaining influence on the ground with sources and that it is likely growing that network rapidly to begin identifying and locating higher priority targets.

While this is a significant event, it still has not done serious damage to the Islamic State. The death of Abu Sayyaf will not hamper the terrorist organization dramatically as he will likely be easily replaced. It does however send the message that the US will come after targets that it deems worthy of the risk. This means the higher priority targets in the hierarchy of the group are definitely being developed as this is being written. It is too early to say if this is a turning point in the Obama strategy which thus far has been tepid at best as the Islamic State has expanded outside the primary areas of Syria and Iraq. Without significant military operations against the group it will continue to develop its tactics, techniques and procedures. The raid is little more than a pin prick against an ever growing beast.

Sources:

ISIS Official Killed in US Raid in Syria, Pentagon Says

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/world/middleeast/abu-sayyaf-isis-commander-killed-by-us-forces-pentagon-says.html?_r=0

Army’s Elite Delta Forces Kills Top ISIS Official, Abu Sayyaff, in Rare Syrian Raid

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/16/us-conducts-raid-on-isis-in-syria-kills-top-official/

***

Iraqi Immigrant Arrested in Texas After Pledging Allegiance to ISIS

Breitbart, by John Hayward, May 15, 2015:

A naturalized American citizen from Iraq named Bilal Abood was arrested by FBI agents in Texas on Thursday, on charges of lying to law enforcement about his formal pledge of allegiance to ISIS and its “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Abood worked as a translator for the U.S. military before moving to the United States.  He was living in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite at the time of his arrest, and was a licensed security guard, according to NBC 5 News in Dallas.

Abood has been on the counter-terrorist radar screen since 2013, when he was prevented from boarding a flight to the Middle East at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and interviewed by the FBI.  He initially claimed he wanted to visit his family in Iraq, but later admitted his intention was to make his way to Syria and take up arms against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.  At the time, he said his sympathies lay with the Free Syrian Army, a prominent “moderate” rebel group supported by the U.S. government.

The New York Times says that about a month later, an FBI informant said Abood was “watching videos about the Islamic State and had said that he wanted to support it.”  He made another attempt to reach Syria, this time traveling from Mexico to Turkey first, and was successful.

Upon his return to Texas in September 2013, he told the FBI he spent his time in Syria training with the FSA, but “became frustrated with a lack of action,” so he gave up and returned to the U.S.

At this point, the Abood saga assumes a rather… leisurely pace, considering he had all the telltale signs of a “lone wolf” jihadi.  Ten months after Abood came home from Syria, the FBI obtained a warrant, searched his computer, and found his oath of fealty to the Islamic State “caliphate,” delivered via Twitter.

NBC 5 says his browser history also indicated a taste for ISIS beheading videos, and he used Twitter to spread information about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Evidently the Bureau kept this discovery quiet, because nine months later, agents asked him about his pledge of allegiance to ISIS, which he falsely denied making.  Another month would elapse before Abood’s arrest on Thursday.

“It was not clear why agents waited nearly a year to arrest him,” writes NBC 5 News  “Abood does not face a terrorism charge, and there is no allegation he was planning any attacks in the United States.”

FBI officials told the New York Times the timing of the arrest “reflected increasing wariness about the possible threat posed by known devotees of the Islamic State inside the United States.”

The Dallas Morning News says that “if found guilty, Abood is looking at eight years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.”

The obvious reason for leaving Abood to his own devices for a year would be keeping him under surveillance and hoping he led agents to other suspicious individuals.  CNNsuggests the jihad attack on Pamela Geller’s Mohammed Art Exhibit in Garland, Texas prompted more aggressive action against “lone wolf” suspects already under observation, saying FBI Director James Corner “ordered counterterrorism investigators last week to reassess cases of people who the FBI was already tracking to determine whether more action was necessary against suspects.”

The emphasis now, according to what officials told CNN, is on “moving more quickly to take possible threats off the streets, instead of waiting longer to monitor and build an investigation against suspects.”

Also see:

Trojan Horse Billion $ US State Dept. Program Brings Refugee Jihadis to America

Refugee_Hijra_Widget

NER, by Jerry Gordon, May 12, 3015:

Mike Bates and I interviewed Ann Corcoran, editor of the Refugee Resettlement Watch  blog on 1330amWEBY’s “Your Turn’ program, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Corcoran is the author of “Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America .“ We noted  early in the interview the importance of Hijra (immigration in Arabic) as a doctrinal imperative for Muslims in one of the Hadith (saying of Mohammed) according to a reliable commentator, Bukhari:

There can be no Hijra (migration) after the conquest  but Jihad and a desire or an intention, and if you settle then spread out.

For more see: Modern Day Trojan Horse: Al-Hijra, the Islamic Doctrine of Immigration, Accepting Freedom or Imposing Islam?  By Sam Solomon and E. Al Maqdisi.

The focus of our discussion was on  rising concerns over Muslim refugee resettlement  under the billion dollar secretive US Refugee Admission Program that has operated under the virtual radar screen for 35 years. These concerns have arisen since the Refugee Act of 1980 was passed and signed into law by former President  Jimmy Carter. The law was introduced by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and then Senator, and now Obama Vice President, Joe Biden. Based on the interview, Corcoran believes that it is overdue for a major overhaul and reform. By virtue of admitting thousands of  potential Jihadis among refugees from Muslims lands, the program constitutes a significant national security risk.

Watch  Corcoran’s  Center for Security Policy You Tube video which has gone viral since its posting on April 20, 2015 with  236,748 hits at last count.

Here are some takeaways from the 1330amWEBY interview with Corcoran:

  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees  “calls the shots”  on the annual allotment of 70,000 refugees that the State Department sends a Presidential Directive  to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to be ‘rubber stamped’ by Senate and House Subcommittees on Immigration and Border Security.
  • The Congress has never exercised effective oversight of the Refugee Admissions program through hearings and recommendations leading to changes in countries of origin under UN allotments.
  • The Refugee Admissions Program has been used punitively against  political critics. One example is the assignment  of  large  numbers of Somali refugees to the Congressional District of former US Rep. Michelle Bachmann in St. Cloud, Minnesota
  • Nearly 400,000 refugees admitted to the US under this State Department program funded by taxpayers came from “countries that hate us”: Somalia, Iraq, Bosnia and soon, Syria;
  • Hundreds of terrorists have entered the US as refugees, many fraudulently, whose backgrounds are impossible  to run background checks as their countries of origin are virtual failed states;
  • Among examples of refugee Jihads caught are:

Dozens of Somaliémigré youths arrested and charged with material support for terrorism by attempting or leaving to join Al Shabaab in war torn Somalia or the Islamic State in Syria;

Iraqi Al Qaeda operatives admitted because of fraudulent representations who were convicted of trying to attempting to ship weapons and funds to Al Qaeda and only caught when fingerprints were found on shards of an IED that killed four Pennsylvania National Guardsmen in Iraq;

The Brothers Tsarneav who perpetrated the Boston Marathon Bombing that killed three and one MIT police officer, injuring over 263, some maimed for life.

  • Rampant fraud was detected  from DNA samples among Somali applicants under the State Department Family Reunification P-3 Visa Program  resulting in the shutdown of the program for three years.  20,000 fraudulently admitted Somali refugees were never pursued to eject them.
  • Given the world’s attention on the problem of illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the State Department  Refugee program let in to the US  thousands of Somalis who fled to the Island of Malta without any clearances.
  • Endangered Middle East Christians are effectively discriminated against for refugee status, because  they do not reside in UNHCR camps, dominated by Sunni Muslims. Of  the initial group of  Syrian refugees brought into the US, 92 percent were Muslims, with the balance Christian.
  • There are upwards of  17,000 Syrians refugees  in the UNHCR pipeline awaiting processing for admission to the US.
  • The State Department contracts with 9 religious and special interest NGOs who place refugees through a network of 350 contractors and compete for significant processing fees and grants for obtaining citizenship.
  • Refugees are legal immigrants and thus have access to a smorgasbord of cash assistance, Medicaid, educational support that run into billions of costs all funded by US taxpayers.
  • The  Federal  Office of Refugee Resettlement  has a contract with a Soros-backed immigration advocacy group, “Welcoming America,” to go into ‘pockets of resistance’ in local communities targeted for refugee allotments.
  • Local communities have virtually no say or review of refugee placements to assess local burden on schools, medical facilities or assisted housing. That has led Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to write Secretary Kerry to put a hold on refugees slated for his district until resettlement questions are answered.

For more, listen to the 1330amWEBY interview with Ann Corcoran, here and here.  An article based on this interview will appear in the June edition of the NER.

The Watchman Show: World on Fire

jihad 2Terrorism experts Erick Stakelbeck, Patrick Poole and Ryan Mauro to discuss Iran, ISIS, Yemen and Syria–and why it matters for Americans.

US Needs a Strategy for the Collapse of the Assad Regime

Bashar Assad. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Bashar Assad. (photo credit:REUTERS)

CSP, by Fred Fleitz, May 1, 2015:

Adding to the complexity of the current chaos in Syria and Iraq, the Jerusalem Post reported this week that Syria’s Assad regime may be on the brink of collapse.

Syria has faced four years of civil war and 200,000 deaths. Multiple rebel offenses have taken key cities such as Idlib. There is a concerted rebel effort making its way towards Damascus in the South.

Danielle Pletka, Senior Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies of the American Enterprise Institute, gave a dire outlook for Syria when she wrote this week that

“The facts are straightforward: rebel forces have been advancing on government/Hezbollah/Iranian-held towns with growing success. Led by al Qaeda ally Jabhat al Nusra (JN) in coordination with a mishmash of other Islamist groups, Assad’s opponents appear to be consolidating their hold over Idlib province, and are making gains elsewhere around the country. And, as multiple analysts have noted, at the same time that JN et al appear to be coordinating more effectively (while shutting out ISIS and its allies), Assad’s own forces seem to have lost the will to fight.”

The Syrian military has dropped by half due to high rates of casualties and desertions. As a result, it is increasingly relying on foreign fighters, many trained and armed by Iran.

The collapse of the Assad government would make Syria a greater threat to regional security than it is today since there is a strong possibility it would be taken over by Isis and Al Qaeda and become a terrorist safe haven..

The Obama administration’s strategy for Syria has been incoherent. It needs to come up with contingency plans in case the Assad government collapses so the country does not become another Iran or Libya.

San Diego Man Arrested for Working for Al-Qaeda Sharia Court in Syria, Fighting with Terror Group

PJ Media, by Patridk Poole, April 23, 2015:

Yesterday the FBI in San Diego arrested Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati, a naturalized U.S. citizen since September 2008, for making false statements to U.S. Embassy officials, Customs and Border Protection and the FBI related to his time in Syria and Turkey over the past two years. Kodaimati left the U.S. in late December 2012 and returned on March 23.

According to the FBI affidavit in support of the criminal complaint filed today in the case against Kodaimati, the 24-year-old man was caught in a series of lies related to his work on behalf of a sharia court operated by Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria and a U.S. designated terrorist organization, and also his role mediating between Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS.

Ultimately, Kodaimati was tripped up by his posts to Facebook.

According to the FBI, he stated in a September 2013 private message on Facebook that he worked for the sharia court in Hanano near Aleppo. He would post media statements from the Nusra-operated sharia court to social media.

The FBI complaint also alleges that Kodaimati was a close associate with a senior ISIS operative in the area, with whom he mediated on behalf of others in the area to resolve conflicts between ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. He also posted pictures to his Facebook account (now removed) of him with another known ISIS operative.

In his Facebook communications, he also recounted how he, his father and his brother fought with Jabhat al-Nusra against the Assad regime for four months.

He was initially questioned at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, on March 10 and 11. He was later questioned about his activities in Syria by Customs and Border Patrol upon his reentry to the U.S. at the airport in Charlotte, NC, on March 23, and later by the FBI in Charlotte on March 25. After being questioned at his home in San Diego yesterday, he was taken into custody.

Here’s the FBI complaint:

Kodaimati Criminal Complaint by Stewart Bell

Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ISIS ANZAC Day Plot

SevdetApril 23, 2015 /

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) continued their targeting of Islamic State (IS)-aligned terror cells operating throughout Australia in a raid that was executed in Melbourne this past Saturday that resulted in the arrest of two members of the attack cell. This was followed up with a third member of the cell being arrested along with a 14-yr old boy in the UK who was detained by British authorities for being tied to the plans. Although it remains unclear at this time just how the boy fits into the scheme, it appears that he was maintaining direct contact with members of the cell online. The two 18-yr olds are said to be part of a cell that was planning to attack and kill an Australian police officer, take his weapon and use it to fire on civilians attending an ANZAC Day event that was to be held on Saturday.

Anzac terror plot: Third man held in custody as details of alleged attack plot emerge

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/anzac-terror-plot-third-man-held-in-custody-as-details-of-alleged-attack-plot-emerge-20150421-1mplrn.html

Men arrested in Melbourne over alleged ‘ISIS-inspired’ Anzac Day terrorist plot

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-18/five-arrested-in-melbourne-after-a-joint-terrorism-operation/6402810

Anzac Day terrorism plot payback for Haider shooting

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/anzac-day-terrorism-plot-payback-for-haider-shooting-20150420-1mp93b.html

The selection of ANZAC Day to carry out the attack isn’t surprising in the least as the day honors the brave men that served in the Australian and New Zealand Armies who died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in addition to the contributions of all those who served. ANZAC Day is also of significance to IS in the sense that it was originally honor the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli agains the Ottoman Empire during World War I – a battle that the Turks (Muslims) won, although it would prove to be the last gasp of the Ottoman Empire. One of the two individuals arrested in Melbourne are identified as Sevdet Ramadan Besim, who recently appeared in court and charged. This is significant due to his friendship with the late-Numan Haider, who was killed in a SEP 14 AFP operation when he stabbed an AFP officer with a knife – implying that the planned attack was at least partially influenced by the SEP event.

Australia Launches Largest Counter-Terror OP in History Against ISIS

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1819

ISIS Targets the Australian Prime Minister

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2038

The attack itself shares many similarities to the 2013 murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby in London that we discussed in “Target America: Hunting the US Military.” In that piece, we put on our Red Cell hats and described how a lone wolf or cell of jihadists who couldn’t make the trip to Syria would go about targeting and killing a US service member. Although the article was about targeting US military personnel, the strategy also extends to Canadian, British and Australian military personnel as outlined in previous IS videos threatening each nation. The Rigby murder demonstrates how easy it is to cause havoc by targeting individual police and military personnel – which is further reinforced by IS videos stating that such attacks are just as “honorable” as conducting a high-profile attack or fighting on the front-lines in Syria. The Melbourne plot had the very real potential of being even worse since it called for the use of the slain police officer’s weapon to conduct a follow-on attack targeting the civilian population. Its cheap, effective and doesn’t require any specialized training. In other words, what we’re seeing is the “death of a thousand cuts” IS style.

Target America: Hunting the US Military

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2061

Here’s the aftermath of the Rigby murder:

Although everybody seems to be focused on the British kid, Haider and Besim’s links to the al-Furquan Dawah Center and Bookshop are of greater interest as a frequent preacher there is Muhammed Junaid Thorne – a known IS facilitator linked to recruitment and facilitating travel to Syria. As we discussed in “The Continuing Flow of Foreign Fighters From Australia,” Thorne and his close-friend Robert “Musa” Cerantonio had been quite active at their mutual associate Wissam Haddad’s al-Rislah Bookstore. As you may recall, the Bankstown-area bookstore was being as a recruiting hub and facilitating the travel of jihadists to Syria through Haddad’s network of donors and Syria-based contacts within the IS ranks. Before al-Rislah was shutdown, it had made several postings on social media that demonstrated its pro-IS alignment. Its also worth noting that Cerantonio, Haddad and Thorne are all actively working with the pro-IS organization Millatu-Ibrahim AU, which is the Australian branch of a jihadist entity that originally operated in Germany prior to being banned from the country – where it now operates “underground.” Millatu-Ibrahim also has a branch in Denmark that has been allowed to thrive in the European nation.

The Continuing Flow of Foreign Fighters From Australia

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2889

ANZAC Day_Furquan

al-Furqan Dawah Center and Bookstore
Source: Jason South

Thorne’s efforts in reaching out to his European counterparts may have facilitated a greater flow of ideas between the two continents that led to the disrupted plot being modeled on the Rigby murder. Another chilling aspects of all this is that the decision to plan for launching the attack on ANZAC Day was likely influenced by Thorne and led to the young jihadists getting in touch with structural IS member Neil Prakash aka “Abu Khalid al-Cambodi.” He’s a 23-yr old Australian national of Fijian/Cambodian heritage (hence the name “Cambodi”) that took over the duties of the late-Muhmammed Ali Baryalei, who was one of the top recruiters for IS leading up to his death. Cambodi is very active on social media and had threatened the Australian government about “the brothers” who couldn’t travel to Syria, implying that there would be attacks inside Australia itself. Its said that Cambodi played a significant role in identifying promising recruits to serve in the “Anwar al-Awlaki Battalion” that we discussed in “The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West.” The Anwar al-Awlaki Battalion consists of foreign fighters from Australia, the US, UK, Canada and was established to get a cohesive unit of westerners for the purpose of eventual redeployment back to their countries of origin – where they would set up their own networks for launching attacks on the home front. This is only part of what Cambodi’s strategy, the other being inspiring homegrown cells, even linking them up with jihadists who returned from Syria and giving them advice on which targets to consider developing for future attacks. In fact, he just recently put out a video in response to the disruption of the ANZAC Day plot calling for additional attacks on Australian soil and praised Haider.

Terror plot: teenagers linked to top Islamic State recruiter Abu Khalid al-Kambodi

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/terror-plot-teenagers-linked-to-top-islamic-state-recruiter-abu-khalid-alkambodi-20150419-1mock5.html

This snake of an Aussie jihadist got promoted to be new head recruiter for Islamic State

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/this-snake-of-an-aussie-jihadist-got-promoted-to-be-new-head-recruiter-for-islamic-state/story-fni0cx12-1227239217682

ISIS recruiter makes video urging ISIS Australian cells to carry out attacks

http://truebluenz.com/2015/04/23/isis-recruiter-makes-video-urging-isis-australian-cells-to-carry-out-attacks/

The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5388

cambodi

Cambodi
Source: The ISIS Study Group

ANZAC Day_links

Breakdown of the links between the two detainees and IS facilitators
Source: http://www.theage.com.au

The timing of the recent attack in Kabul (which will be covered in an upcoming article) and the ANZAC Day plot are unlikely to be a coincidence. It also means that other attacks may be planned elsewhere. That said, we expect the remaining personnel operating in Melbourne to lay-low this weekend to avoid capture while the cells operating in locations such as Brisbane and Sydney likely maintaining a low-profile. After a week or two those cells will probably work to change up their current OPSEC TTPs in order to mitigate further targeting in addition to doing an assessment on their current plans to determine if they’ve been compromised. We assess that JUN through AUG will likely see renewed efforts by the Australia-based terror cells to regain the initiative. Fortunately, our Australian allies are already tracking and will continue to crackdown on IS and their supporters. The US government could learn a thing or two on how to take the fight to the terrorists…

Ohio Terror Suspect Was Caught Lying to FBI Two Days After Becoming Naturalized U.S. Citizen

Image: Abdirahman Sheik MohamudThe FBI allowed Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud to obtain a passport, travel to Syria to fight with al-Qaeda, and return to conduct terror attacks.

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, April 21, 2015:

An Ohio man indicted by a federal grand jury on terrorism support charges last week,  was questioned by the FBI two days after becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.

During that questioning, he was caught lying about his identity.

Several days later, Mohamud applied for a U.S. passport and was allowed to travel to Syria. There, he fought and trained with Jabhat al-Nusra — an official al-Qaeda affiliate — and then was allowed to return to the U.S. where he planned to launch terror attacks inside the U.S.

These remarkable revelations of FBI failure emerged from documents unsealed by the federal court and from last week’s indictment.

According to the indictment (p.2), Mohamud became a naturalized U.S. citizen on February 18 last year, and applied for a U.S. passport a week later:

On or about February 18, 2014, MOHAMUD became a naturalized U.S. citizen. On or about February 25, 2014, MOHAMUD submitted his U.S. passport application.

But as the Wall Street Journal reports today, the FBI interviewed Mohamud on Feb. 20th — two days after his naturalization ceremony — during which FBI agents caught him lying about his identity:

The FBI first spoke to Mr. Mohamud more than a year ago, but that intervention didn’t appear to prevent the native of Somalia from traveling overseas. During the Feb. 20, 2014, interview, federal agents said Mr. Mohamud tried to lie about his identity. He first told investigators he was his older brother, Abdifatah Aden, who had already left the U.S. in 2013 and was believed to be fighting in Syria on behalf of Nusra Front and raising money for the cause, according to court documents.

“When challenged about his truthfulness, he admitted his true identity,” Mr. Flowers of the FBI wrote in a court affidavit. It wasn’t clear from court documents how agents reacted to Mr. Mohamud’s reversal.

And yet, Mohamud was allowed to obtain a U.S. passport and travel to Turkey six weeks later, where he joined up with terror operatives after crossing the border into Syria.

After Mohamud returned to the U.S. last June, the newly unsealed court documents claim that he then began weapons training with others in the Columbus area. The Wall Street Journal article continues:

Three months after he returned from training with violent extremists in Syria, a 23-year-old Ohio man hosted a shooting group at a local gun range, federal authorities allege in newly unsealed court papers.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud rented a shooting lane in the Columbus area last September, court papers say. When a range officer offered to instruct him and his two associates how to use their borrowed pistol, Mr. Mohamud allegedly declined, implying he could teach the others.

“Organizing weapons training is consistent with individuals who previously obtained training from … training camps to, upon return to their homeland, seek to recruit a group of young male adults in order to lead them to be like-minded jihadist believers prepared to fight,” Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Stephen Flowers wrote in court documents.

For eight months until his arrest in late February this year, Mohamud was allowed to roam freely within the U.S. and train others in handling firearms.

Here is a timeline of events:

Feb. 18, 2014: Mohamud becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Feb. 20, 2014: The FBI interviews Mohamud, during which time he is caught lying about his identity. The same day he communicates with his brother already in Syria about his travel plans to join him.

Feb. 25, 2014: Mohamud applies for a U.S. passport.

April 8, 2014: He purchases a one-way airline ticket with a stopover in Istanbul, Turkey.

April 18, 2014: He departs the U.S. and arrives in Turkey the following day.

June 3, 2014: His older brother, Aden, is reported killed fighting in Syria.

June 8, 2014: He returns to the U.S.

Approx. Sept 2014: He trains others in handling weapons at a Columbus firing range.

Feb. 25, 2015: Mohamud is arrested on state terrorism support charges.

April 16, 2015: He is indicted by a federal grand jury.

Even with an FBI informant among Mohamud’s associates, it would be hard to paint this as the Bureau’s finest hour. As I noted here at PJ Media last week, the FBI has been less than forthcoming to the public about the scope of the threat of U.S. persons who have traveled to fight in Syria and the number of those who have returned.

As additional details become available, it may become even more clear how the FBI botched the handling of this potential threat.

***

Terrorism expert Patrick Poole discusses the latest on threats from ISIS and other extremist groups operating in the American heartland.

 

Minnesota Martyrs

 

Also see:

Alabama woman joins ISIS – CAIR responds

Hoda Muthana

Hoda Muthana

By Cultural Jihad, April 21, 2015:

Hoda said that her parents weren’t entirely in the dark about what their daughter’s newfound religious interest might lead to. “They didn’t know I was leaving, but they had an idea,” Hoda said. “They’d see news reports about girls who have made it [to Syria] and say things like, ‘Hoda would probably do that.’’’
BuzzFeed Interiview

A 20-year-old Alabama woman joined ISIS after receiving an innocent graduation gift

From:  www.businessinsider.com
By: Reuters and Pamela Engel, April 21, 2015

A 20-year-old woman from a Birmingham, Alabama, suburb has left the US to join the Islamic State militant group in Syria, the local broadcaster WIAT reported on Monday.

Hoda Muthana made contact with militants through social media and had been distancing herself from other Muslims in Hoover for more a year before leaving, said family spokesman Hassan Shibly, according to WIAT. Her family reportedly fled Yemen for the US more than 20 years ago.

Hoda’s father, Mohammed, told BuzzFeed that his daughter’s introduction to social media started with the smartphone he gave her as a high-school graduation gift in 2013.

She wasn’t technically allowed to have social-media accounts or post photos of herself (though her brothers were), but she apparently found a way around that.

Mohammed said he sometimes took her phone to check what was on it. He told BuzzFeed: “When I get the phone from her, sometimes she scared, and I thought, ‘What do you have?’”

During the year and a half before she left for Syria, Hoda became more devoutly religious. She told BuzzFeed that it was due in part to Islamic lectures she found on the internet.

Hoda said her parents noticed her becoming more religious and “liked the change until they saw me getting ‘jihadi.’”

In 2013, Hoda secretly set up a Twitter account that allowed her to find and connect with Islamic State members and supporters, including Aqsa Mahmood, who left her home in Scotland to join the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The cited Buzzfeed article provides additional details relating to this story and leaves the impression that Hoda’s radicalization was not exactly a surprise to those around her and probably not the result of getting a cell phone.

The Birmingham, AL   Muslim community  is centered around the Birmingham Islamic Society (BIS)  and we mentioned the area when Randy Wilson was arrested on terrorism related charges in 2012.  In a Washington post article, BIS president Ashfaq Taufique stated that Wilson had attended a Muslim school in Birmingham when he was younger.

The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is well represented in Alabama, especially in the locations around Birmingham and Huntsville.   These type of Islamic radical recruiting incidents bring unwanted attention to the area and it would be safe to assume that damage/media control is considered a high priority.  With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the identified family spokesman Hassan Shibly, is the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)  Florida – someone frequently called upon to handle high profile PR matters for CAIR.

In regards to CAIR, The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch notes

In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood acknowledged a relationship between the Egyptian Brotherhood and CAIR.  In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.”

***

 

Sweet home? Raqqa, Muthana's new home city, is pictured above. It is the target of regular airstrikes, one of which killed Muthana's husband

Sweet home? Raqqa, Muthana’s new home city, is pictured above. It is the target of regular airstrikes, one of which killed Muthana’s husband

Also see:

Ohio Arrest Shows Threat to U.S. from Al-Qaeda in Syria

ohiolg_0

What now for the U.S.’ relationship with Al-Nusra after an American goes to Syria for jihadist training and returns to commit terrorism?

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, April 19, 2015:

Al-Nusrah American citizen Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud was indicted after a cleric associated with Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria) ordered him to carry out an attack here, the Justice Department announced. His plot to attack a military base in Texas was thwarted. The involvement of Al-Nusra will make it difficult for the U.S. to keep looking the other way as it gains territory in Syria.

Originally from Somalia, Mohamud grew up in the U.S. He lives in Columbus, Ohio and Islamist radicalism seems to be a family affair in this case. His brother died fighting for Al-Qaeda in Syria and was apparently a major influence in Mohamud’s radicalization.

Their younger brother, Abdiqani Aden, was arrested earlier this month during a visit to Mohamud because he made a gun symbol with his hands and pointed towards the sheriff’s deputies. He was speaking in a foreign language at the time. This is especially threatening because Mohamud’s second-choice target was a prison.

The government’s monitoring of communication between the two older brothers shows their motivations were not frustration with U.S. foreign policy or personal trials. They were inspired by a glorification of those who die in violent jihad and a belief that such “martyrs” are guaranteed entry into heaven.

His brother left the U.S. in May 2013 and went to Syria to link up with Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing. Mohamud’s travel arrangements involved Al-Nusra members and that is presumably the group he joined, but his online postings showed his loyalty was with ISIS. Al-Nusra facilitators appear to have been surprisingly unconcerned by this.

This may indicate the rift between the leadership of ISIS and Al-Qaeda isn’t necessarily trickling down to most of the membership. The attacks in Paris are another example where Al-Qaeda and ISIS supporters worked together despite the quarrels of their leaders.

His brother was killed in June 2014 and he returned home afterwards. Mohamud told a close associate that he completed his training with an unidentified terrorist group in Syria and a cleric told him to return to the U.S. to carry out an attack. The indictment charges Mohamud with providing material support to Al-Nusra, so it appears that he never joined ISIS.

Mohamud began plotting but two unidentified individuals close to him reported their dialogues to the FBI and likely recorded them. One was a friend of his for three years and all indications point to one or both of these informants being Muslim. This is another example of why the demonization of informants by groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is so dangerous.

Mohamud decided his preference was to attack a military site with a prison as a backup option. He chose a base in Texas and hoped to execute three or four U.S. soldiers before achieving “martyrdom.” The FBI arrested him before he could start putting the details together.

The cleric’s involvement is an important detail because it threatens to unravel the Obama Administration’s façade that Al-Nusra isn’t a direct threat to America. It also indicates the group is putting an increased emphasis on hitting us at home.

The U.S. realized in September the air campaign against ISIS needed to include a unit within Al-Nusra named the Khorasan Group that was orchestrating terror plots against the West. The problem is that Al-Nusra is much more popular than ISIS and works closely with other Syrian rebels, including ones the U.S. supported and anticipated relying upon to fight ISIS on the ground.

The desire to avoid alienating Al-Qaeda-allied Syrian rebels and their supporters led the Obama Administration to begin promoting a myththat the Khorasan Group is an independent entity that is somehow illogically linked to Al-Qaeda but not Al-Nusra. The New York Timesrepeated it in its coverage of this case.

The myth is harmful to U.S. interests and anti-Islamist Syrians because it distances Al-Nusra from Al-Qaeda, thereby giving it a higher ceiling of public support. A Zogby poll in November found the population of Turkey favors Al-Nusra above all other participants in the Syrian civil war. A whopping 40% of Turks support Al-Nusra the most.

The indications are that Mohamud’s Syrian cleric is from Al-Nusra but it’s still significant he’s in ISIS because that would mean it is now dispatching operatives from the region to America. That would be a shift from relying on so-called “lone wolves” inside the U.S. who plan terrorism because they’ve determined that traveling to the Caliphateis unlikely to succeed.

It is true that Mohamud’s case is important because it’s the first publicly-acknowledged case of an American going to Syria for jihadist training and returning home to commit terrorism, but there’s a bigger point to be made. The U.S. is at war with Jabhat al-Nusra because it is at war with Al-Qaeda. If a Syrian rebel partner doesn’t approve of the U.S. recognizing that unavoidable fact, then that’s not a partner worth having.

Ohio man who trained with al Qaeda cell in Syria arrested after returning to US with directive to carry out terror attack

Terror suspect: Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, from Columbus, Ohio, has been arrested and charged with supporting terrorism after getting training in Syria

Terror suspect: Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, from Columbus, Ohio, has been arrested and charged with supporting terrorism after getting training in Syria

  • Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, from Columbus, said he got training from terror group linked to al Qaeda in Syria
  • Was instructed by cleric to return to US and carry out terror attack 
  • His suspected plan was to go to a military base and kill three-four soldiers ‘execution-style’ 
  • Mohamud was arrested in February on state charges of money laundering and providing support for terrorism 
  • If convicted in federal case, the 3-year-old could face up to 40 years in prison  

Daily Mail, April 16, 2015:

A 23-year-old resident of Columbus, Ohio, who trained with a group affiliated with al Qaeda has been arrested and charged with plotting an attack on American soil, the Justice Department revealed today.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a naturalized American citizen of Somali descent, had been instructed by a cleric to return to the United States and carry out an act of terrorism, the indictment said.

The Justice Department stated that Mohamud was also an Islamic State sympathizer, and that his brother, Abdifatah Aden, was killed fighting with the group in Syria in 2013.

According to court documents, Mohamud left the US a year ago with the intent to go to Syria and train with a terrorist group linked to al Qaeda in Iraq.

In April 2014, he purchased a one-way ticket to Greece, but during a layover in Istanbul he failed to board a connecting flight to Athens and instead made his way to Syria.

Once he reached his destination, Mohamud stated that he received training in shooting weapons, breaking into houses, explosives and hand-to-hand combat.

The 23-year-old Columbus man aloes said that after completing his training, a cleric with the group Jabhat al-Nusrah instructed him to return to the US and commit an act of terror.

The 23-year-old returned to the US in June 2014 with a plot to attack a military base or a correctional facility, targeting people in uniform, according to court documents.

‘Mohamud talked about doing something big in the United States,’ the papers cited by ABC News indicate. ‘He wanted to go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution style.’

On Thursday, Mohamud was indicted on one count of attempting to provide and providing material support to terrorists, one count of attempting to provide and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, and one count of making false statements to the FBI.

The first two counts, providing material support to terrorists and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization are each crimes punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Making false statements involving international terrorism carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.

Mohamud was arrested on state charges February 21, 2015, and is expected to be transferred into federal custody based on today’s indictment.

Before Mohamud’s brother was killed in battle on or around June 3, 2014, the two had exchanged emails discussing the 23-year-old’s plans to travel to Syria and fight with Islamic State.

In February, Mohamud asked Abdifatah Aden how he could send him money.

Later that month, Mohamud was arrested at his Columbus home for allegedly providing a computer tablet an other material support to terroist organizations aborad.

Prosecutor Ron O’Brien at the time asked a judge to set Mohamud’s bond at $1million saying he was a flight risk and posed a threat to public safety.

Mohamud’s attorney, Sam Shamansky, insisted that his client was not a terrorist and would not flee because he was taking care of his ailing mother in Ohio.

Jerry Gordon at NER comments:

This indictment of Mohamud  is reflective of deep problems arising from  a virtually UN controlled  US Refugee Program  subsidizing the  growth  of a population in this country that  reject  American values and laws and are  prone to recruitment as  Jihadis by  Al Qaeda  and the Islamic State.